How to Manage Reproducible Books

by Jimmie

Lots of teaching resources, such as Evan Moor or Scholastic titles, are reproducible books. What are the best ways to manage these books for easy copying?

Although I am a huge fan of a living books approach to homeschool, I also love reproducible books that you can use for exercises or activities. Generally, reproducible books are designed with the classroom teacher in mind. Buying the book grants the teacher the right to duplicate the pages for her class of students. Homeschool moms can use reproducible books in the same way, copying pages for their own children. 

But what is the best way to organize reproducible books? I've found three different options and will outline them here for you to weigh.

NOTE: You don't have to photocopy reproducible books. Some people use them as consumables. That's fine. But if you want to use the resource for several children, or desire to resell the book later, or even want to have a back up copy in the case of mistakes, photocopying your book is a good solution.

Reproducible Workbooks That I Have Copied

For Use in Homeschool
Geography Workbook
Geography Workbook
Vocabulary Workbooks
Vocabulary Workbooks

Option One: Photocopy the Whole Book at Once

A second option for reproducible books is to take the book to an office supply store and ask them to photocopy the entire thing at the beginning of the school year. 

Advantages

  • The copying is done for the year.
  • Your book is in good condition and can be resold at a curriculum fair.

Disadvantages

  • The initial outlay may be a bit expensive.
  • You have to make two trips to the store -- one to drop off and another to pick up.
  • You have to organize and store the copies.
  • You may waste some pages that you end up not using.

Option Two: Buy eBooks & Print as You Go

CurrClick

One option for reproducible books is to buy the electronic versions. These ebooks are normally PDF files that you store on your computer. When you need a page from the book, simply print out however many copies you want.

CurrClick is a great place to get ebooks at good prices. Look at their Evan Moor reproducible books, for example. Scholastic also sells their reproducible teacher books in ebook format.

Advantages

  • There are no physical books to store.
  • You can reference the book from your ebook reader (such as a Kindle).
  • You can print as you go so there is less to organize.
  • You can customize your print settings to enlarge, reduce, or print on special papers.
  • Ebooks are available for immediate download after purchase. No paying for or waiting for shipping.

Disadvantages

  • Some people dislike reading from a computer screen.
  • It can be easy to forget what ebook titles you've bought.
  • You cannot resell an ebook.
  • If your computer crashes, you may lose your ebooks.

Tips

When you buy an ebook, print out the table of contents and add that to a notebook. When you are planning your lessons, you can refer to your TOC rather than opening the file on your computer, or worse, forgetting that you have the resource altogether.

A Printer/Scanner/Copier

A Necessity for Ebook Users
HP Deskjet F2430 All-in-one Printer
Hewlett Packard

If You Are Going to Use Ebooks

You Will Need a Printer

A printer is more than a luxury for a homeschool family. It is an absolute necessity. If you plan to use ebooks, you will want a household printer for the convenience of printing pages as you need them for your lessons.

I own a combination printer/scanner/copier which I use daily. I did go about one month without a printer. I found it so cumbersome to take my books somewhere else to photocopy them. I also had to email ebooks to a friend who could help me print certain pages. What a hassle!

How do you usually handle your reproducible books?

Binding Your Workbooks and Other Reproducible Books

Binding Machine by smemon87 @ Flickr
Binding Machine by smemon87 @ Flickr
Three Ring Binder by thinkpublic at Flickr
Three Ring Binder by thinkpublic at F...

Option Three: Rebind your Book

A third option for dealing with reproducible books is to "rebind" your book.

Step One -- Tear it Apart

You will need to pull out the pages if they are perforated. Or you can have the entire binding removed with a professional paper cutter.

Step Two -- But it Back Together

Have the pages hole punched (or do it yourself) and store them in a three-ring binder.

Haiving your book in this format makes it easier to remove individual pages for photocopying with your home printer. Some people also like to use a home binding system to add a spiral binding which is easier to work with at the copier.

Advantages

  • Your book is easy to work with at the copier.
  • You can copy as you go in the convenience of your own home.
  • You can customize your copies on the fly, reducing, enlarging, or using special papers.

Disadvantages

  • The resell value of the book is greatly reduced after you "rebind" it this way.
  • Binders can be bulky to store on shelves.

Some Wonderful Reproducible Series

from Evan Moor, Scholastic, Common Sense Press, and Eagle's Wings Publishers
Eagle's Wings Considering God's Creat...
Eagle's Wings
Only $144.84
THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
EVAN-MOOR
$14.99  $14.38
The World of Space (Great Science Adv...
Common Sense Press
Only $16.78
Giant Science Resource Book
Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
$28.99  $12.65
25 Super Cool Math Board Games (Grade...
Scholastic Teaching Resources (Teaching
$15.99  $6.20
Literature Pockets, Greek & Roman Myt...
Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
$16.99  $7.95
Updated: 02/21/2012, Jimmie
 
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Rose on 07/17/2012

You can store some of the ebooks in the cloud which means you don't lose them if your computer crashes or if you need to change computers. And it's also possible to scan print books so you get an electronic copy, and then print as necessary.

Guest on 07/03/2011

Great idea when you have to buy supplies yourself.

PeggyHazelwood on 06/02/2011

Really interesting. I guess I didn't know about reproducible books.

tandemonimom on 05/31/2011

How about making a copy, but instead of printing it, store it on the computer until you need to print it for your child, or REprint it for a second or third child?

Guest on 05/30/2011

This was very educational for me. These resources can be used by anyone who work with children. I like the fact the the books can be reused over and over again.

Spook on 05/30/2011

I was intrigued by all your tips here although long past the children stage.

Susan52 on 05/29/2011

I really like the tip to print the table of contents of ebooks and store them in a notebook. Fabulous suggestion!

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